Major parties earned bulk of income from unknown sources in 2021-22: NGO

Major parties earned bulk of income from unknown sources in 2021-22: NGO

More than 66 per cent of the income of seven national parties in fiscal 2021-22 came from “unknown sources” such as electoral bonds, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The seven parties — BJP, Congress, TMC, NCP, CPI, CPI(M) and the National People’s Party — collected Rs 2,172 crore from unknown sources that financial year, the NGO working for electoral reforms cited official data as saying.

The income from unknown sources was 66.04 per cent of their total income. And Rs 1,811.94 crore, or 83.41 per cent of the income from unknown sources, came through electoral bonds, it said.

Also read: Explained: Why EC wants cap on cash donations to political parties

The “unknown” sources are income declared in the annual audit report by these parties but without giving the source of income, according to the ADR.

Unknown sources

At present, political parties are not required to reveal the names of individuals or organisations giving them less than Rs 20,000 or donating via electoral bonds.

The ADR stated that such unknown sources include donations via electoral bonds, sale of coupons, relief fund, miscellaneous income, voluntary contributions, as well as contribution from meetings.

In 2021-22, the BJP declared Rs 1,161 crore as income from unknown sources. This was 53.45 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources, it said.

Also read: Electoral bonds not transparent, should be scrapped: Former CEC Navin Chawla

“This income of BJP is Rs 149.86 crore more than the aggregate of income from unknown sources declared by the other six national parties (Rs 1,011.18 crore),” the ADR said.

TMC share

The TMC declared Rs 528 crore as income from unknown sources. That was 24.31 per cent of the total income of national parties from unknown sources.

Between 2004-05 and 2021-22, the national parties collected Rs 17,249.45 crore from unknown sources, ADR said.

The combined income of the Congress and NCP from the sale of coupons between 2004-05 and 2021-22 stands at Rs 4,398.51 crore, the ADR said.

“It is to be noted that TMC’s total donations as per the audit report are worth Rs 38 lakh (excluding donations via electoral bonds) but the party has declared donations worth Rs 43 lakh in the donations statement (details of donations above Rs 20,000). Hence, there is a discrepancy in the party’s statement for FY 2021-22,” the ADR said.

Also read: Explained: What are electoral bonds and why are they controversial?

The CPI has declared donations through levy, membership fee, party funds, and election funds.

The organisation said that for this analysis, eight national parties were considered. Among these, the BSP said it did not get any funds from voluntary contributions from unknown sources of income.

(With agency inputs)

Read More
Next Story